>ali left for istanbul on the 7th to have dental surgery (talk about two words you never want to hear together) and will be back in a week or so. in his absence, i have taken to sleeping on his side of the bed and feathering my nest with books. my mother showered me with books for my birthday, so i have plenty of new reading material. at night, after baki is tucked in and snoring softly in his loft bed, i go from one book to another. it feels a bit like eating from a box of chocolates, which i guess is my other favorite thing to do. on my reading list at the moment, thanks to my very generous mother: peter hessler’s book about driving in china, country driving, which i adore, and thus have to read in small doses; the wilder shores of love by lesley blanch, a seminal work in my mother’s reading life, given to her by my father and a fascinating read; an interlinear translation of chaucer’s canterbury tales i read about in the new yorker which has been getting me very excited about the english language; peter ackroyd’s retelling of the canterbury tales, reviewed in said new yorker article; and a slim cookbook by judith jones called the pleasure of cooking for one, which my mother ordered for herself twice by mistake and i am the happy beneficiary — it is a fantastic book for anyone cooking for any number of people. i look forward to going up to bed and burrowing in with all my books every night.